Modern Urianian verbal morphology

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Modern Urianian verbs are inflected for the present and past tenses, the active, passive, reflexive and future voices, the indicative, subjunctive and imperative moods, and the imperfect, the perfect and the perfective aspects. In addition there are a number of nominal forms, including the infinitive and a variety of participles.

All forms are marked with personal endings more or less recognisable in the various paradigms. The tense, voice, mood and aspect formants formerly had their strict proper places, but today they are more or less fused with the personal endings. Formally, the present and the past tenses can be said to be marked with their own sets of personal endings. Also, the imperative mood is not marked like the subjunctive, but rather with particular personal endings.

The active voice, the indicative mood and the imperfect aspect are unmarked, and the 3rd person singular also has a null personal ending. The passive, reflexive and future voice markers are inserted between the root and the personal ending. The subjunctive mood markers are inserted between the root and any voice markers. The perfective aspect marker is appended after the personal endings.

The verbs have four numbered conjugations depending on the structure of the root: 1. roots ending in a vowel, 2. roots with a short final vowel and a single final consonant, 3. roots with a long final root vowel and a single final consonant. 4. roots with a final consonant cluster. Since vowel length in modern Urianian is not marked, the conjugation is your only clue to the length of the root vowel when you see the language in writing.

1. Personal endings of the present and past tenses

Examples: rede - row, cynde - come, tikid - grab, dankid - think.

1p. sg.reamcimamtikamdankam
2p. sg.reitcimittikitdankit
3p. sg.recimtikdanuk
1p. pl.reantcimanttikantdankant
2p. pl.reidcimidtikiddankid
3p. pl.reancimantikandankan

1p. sg.rejamcimjamtikemdankem
2p. sg.rejetcimjettikytdankyt
3p. sg.reicimitikidanki
1p. pl.rejantcimjanttikentdankent
2p. pl.rejedcimjedtikyddankyd
3p. pl.rejancimjantikendanken

The present personal endings are identical in all conjugations, whereas the past ones occur in two sets, which are known as the long (1st and 2nd conjugation) and short (3rd and 4th) endings respectively.

2. Personal endings of the future

The future is technically a voice. It is marked in principle with an s inserted between the root and the personal endings. But phonological evolution has lead to the s disappearing some places and also to changes in the personal endings.

1p. sg.resamcimsamtikiamdankiam
2p. sg.resitcimsittikeitdankeit
3p. sg.rescimstikusdankus
1p. pl.resantcimsanttikiantdankiant
2p. pl.residcimsidtikeiddankeid
3p. pl.resancimsantikiandankian

3. The passive verb

Passive verbs are formed by inserting the passive formant n or in between the root and the personal endings, which in the present are reduced in the 2nd person. In the past tense, only the short personal endings are used. The passive mood is used when you wish to switch the subject and the object arguments about, for emphasis or another purpose. The object of an active action is then in the nominative, while the actor, the subject of the active action, is in the genitive. Example: ripke tikini jesit - the loot was grabbed by the chief.

1p. sg.renamcimnamtikinamdankinam
2p. sg.renitcimnittikintdankint
3p. sg.rencimintikindankin
1p. pl.renantcimnanttikinantdankinant
2p. pl.renidcimnidtikinddankind
3p. pl.renancimnantikinandankinan

1p. sg.renemcimnemtikinemdankinem
2p. sg.renytcimnyttikinytdankinyt
3p. sg.renicimnitikinidankini
1p. pl.renentcimnenttikinentdankinent
2p. pl.renydcimnydtikinyddankinyd
3p. pl.renencimnentikinendankinen

The 3rd person singular forms in the present are used as a passive participle.

4. The reflexive

The reflexive mood is used to make intransitives from verbs that are normally transitive, or to make the object the same as the subject.

1p. sg.reramcimramtikiramdankiram
2p. sg.reritcimrittikuritdankurit
3p. sg.reurcimurtikurdankur
1p. pl.rerantcimranttikirantdankirant
2p. pl.reridcimridtikuriddankurid
3p. pl.rerancimrantikirandankiran

1p. sg.reremcimremtikuremdankurem
2p. sg.rerytcimryttikerytdankeryt
3p. sg.rericimritikuridankuri
1p. pl.rerentcimrenttikurentdankurent
2p. pl.rerydcimrydtikeryddankeryd
3p. pl.rerencimrentikurendankuren

Not all verbs have reflexive forms in the current usage. But the mood is very useful for finding new meanings to a verb, and many reflexives form infinitives that are found in word lists. Of the four verbs used as examples here, only tikid forms such an extension, tikurde, which means to pull oneself together, literally to grab hold of oneself. Additionally, cimrid is a recent slang synonym for having orgasm.

New independent verbs formed from reflexives like this change their conjugations according to the following scheme: 1st → 3rd, 2nd → 4th, 3rd & 4th → 2nd. In spoken Urianian the number and person vowel alternations in the derived verbs tends to be levelled into schwas, similar to the sound written u in the 2nd person presents and the 1st and 3rd person pasts above, but in writing it is considered correct to keep the alternations from the tables above.

5. The perfect and pluperfect. The future perfect.

The passive forms mentioned above also function as a perfect aspect, denoting a state resulting from an action or event. Only transitive verbs are used in the passive, but all verbs can take the perfect form. Similarly, the past passive forms are used as a pluperfect.

There is even a future perfect, which can be formed by inserting a future s before the passive n-ending, or, in places where the s is lost, a diphthong.

1p. sg.reinamcimsinamtikainamdankainam
2p. sg.reinitcimsinttikeintdankeint
3p. sg.resuncimsintikuindankuin
1p. pl.reinantcimsinanttikainantdankainant
2p. pl.reinidcimsindtikeinddankeind
3p. pl.reinancimsinantikainandankainan

6. The perfective aspect.

The perfective aspect is used when referring to an action or event specifically as a finished whole. It is formed by adding an i after the personal endings, except in the past 3rd person singular, where the perfective ending is -iay or -jay. Example: Cimanti! - Thus we arrive!

1p. sg.reamicimamitikamidankami
2p. sg.reiticimititikitidankiti
3p. sg.reicimitikidanki
1p. pl.reanticimantitikantidankanti
2p. pl.reidicimiditikididankidi
3p. pl.reanicimanitikanidankani

1p. sg.rejamicimjamitikemidankemi
2p. sg.rejeticimjetitikytidankyti
3p. sg.rejaycimjaytikiaydankiay
1p. pl.rejanticimjantitikentidankenti
2p. pl.rejedicimjeditikydidankydi
3p. pl.rejanicimjanitikenidankeni

7. Personal endings of the imperative

The imperative also has special personal endings that exist in all persons and numbers except the 1st person singular.

2p. sg.rezucynzutikidanki
3p. sg.redcyndtikiddankid
1p. pl.redatcyndattikidatdankidat
2p. pl.redicynditikididankidi
3p. pl.ryndecimindetikandedankande

Here there are some irregularities depending on the form of the root. In the 1st conjugation, the 3rd person plural form varies with the root vowel, with the vowels a, i, o, u and y respectively, they are: -ainde, -ynde, -oinde, -unde, -ajinde respectively. In the 2nd conjugation, the endings beginning with a dental (which includes all except the 3rd person plural) will mutate a preceding m, as shown in the tabulated example. If the final root consonant is unvoiced, the d’s of the endings will mutate into t’s. The root vowel in the 3rd person plural will lengthen somewhat.

8. The subjunctive

The example verbs that I’ve used above have the following forms in the present tense.

1p. sg.revamcimbamtikavamdankavam
2p. sg.revitcimbittikavitdankavit
3p. sg.reucimutikudanku
1p. pl.revantcimbanttikavantdankavant
2p. pl.revidcimbidtikaviddankavid
3p. pl.revancimbantikavandankavan

In the past tense, the short personal endings are used.

1p. sg.revemcimbemtikavemdankavem
2p. sg.revytcimbyttikavytdankavyt
3p. sg.rejucimjutikifdankif
1p. pl.reventcimbenttikaventdankavent
2p. pl.revydcimbydtikavyddankavyd
3p. pl.revencimbentikavendankaven

There are some irregularities in the 2nd conjugation, where the subjunctive formant regularly is v, but is devoiced after voiceless stops, mutates to b after m, and to u after other labials (b, p and v). In the latter case, the vowels of the personal endings are dropped in the present tense and the long personal endings are used in the past. Examples: a) giste - provide, care for, b) nipte - pull off, flay, nib, c) tibde - fell, dethrone.

1p. sg.gisvamnipfamtibumtibujam
2p. sg.gisvitnipfittibuttibujet
3p. sg.gisuniputibutibuj
1p. pl.gisvantnipfanttibunttibujant
2p. pl.gisvidnipfidtibudtibujed
3p. pl.gisvennipfentibuntibujan

9. Nominal forms

9a The infinitive

The infinitive is formed by adding -de to the root in the 1st and 2nd conjugation, and -id in the two others. The former interacts with the final root consonants in a few cases, mainly it mutates a root final m into an n, and unvoiced final root consonants will mutate its d into a t. The inifinitive is used to denote intent, purpose, and is the form commonly used in lists, dictionaries etc.

9b Participles

Participles transform verbs into nouns, adjectives, adverbs and often enough entire new verbs. An important function of participles is, in parallel with infinitives and subjunctives, to handle additional action in the sentence, subordinate to the main verb. Thus a participle will often be used where a subordinate clause would be appropriate in many other languages. Sometimes, concrete nouns may be formed from participles, denoting the result of the action, someone undergoing the action or similar, and given separate entries in dictionaries.

Participles may be formed in various ways, traditionally divided in active, stative, and passive areas of influence, but this division has become more diffuse over the years. The traditionally active participle is formed by adding the nominative ending -an, the traditionally stative adds -us, and the traditionally passive adds -min or -mn. In addition there are adjectival participles with -in and -id endings, both with a passive leaning, and with an -ir ending, having a reflexive sense. All of these can be declined in the various cases to be used for different purposes in sentences.


The -in, -id and -ir participles are inflected like the -min participles.

Uses of the various cases are generally as follows. The nominative is used for simple referral to the action, or for emphasising the originator. The accusative has a target function, either in time or space. The dative expresses precedence or effect. The ablative describes antedecence, cause, opposition and comparison. The instrumental depicts concurrence. The locative is used for concurrence that has little or no duration. The genitive is used when some idea of possession is relevant. More on this under syntax.

10. Irregular verbs

The most common of the irregular verbs in Urianian by far is etid - to be. Its forms are as follows:

 presentpastfutureperfectivesubj pressubj pastimperative
1p. sg.emimfysamimifuamfyam 
2p. sg.etitfysititifytfjadetfei
3p. sg.eifysaifufyadfeida
1p. pl.sintsantfysantsantifuantfyantfejant
2p. pl.sidsadfysidsadifydfyatsefeid
3p. pl.sinsanfysansanifuanfyanfejan

Another common one is saide - to say. It has the following forms:

 presentpastfutureperfectivesubj pressubj pastimperative
1p. sg.sajamsajemsaisamsajamisaivamsaivem 
2p. sg.siytsajetsaisitsiytisaivitsaivytsaizu
3p. sg.saisyesaissiysajusiyusaid
1p. pl.sajantsajentsaisantsajantisaivantsaiventsaidat
2p. pl.siydsajedsaisidsiydisaividsaivydsaidi
3p. pl.sajansajensaisansajanisaivansaivensyende